So... I've got an interesting one for you today. Look what I found in a dusty corner of the office. No, you're not seeing double. What you are seeing is a pair of power supplies we bought retail a little while ago just to see what they're like. See, a lot of power supply companies don't like to send us their most bargain oriented units. Sometimes it's because they don't think these units will make for very interesting reviews. Other times, it's because they think or know these units won't perform well, and will score poorly.
I never really know why units like this don't end up here unless we actually buy them and find out firsthand. So that's what's going on today. EVGA has deluged the market with a whole lot of units from the big to the small over the years, and I wanted to take a look at the real bargain stuff to make sure the company was still focused on quality even at this end of the market. I have two of them just in case one fails, so we're going to get to the end of the review assured that we know what's what.
And folks, according to this side of the box we have good reason to be nervous. Not so much because of any one feature printed here, but because of what I see in the load table: a max temp rating of thirty degrees. Folks, you know how I feel about that by now if you ever saw my reviews of the original Corsair CX line. Thirty degrees is nothing to a power supply. Most of the time, when I run the cold tests, ambient temperature sitting out in the open is close to that number. As soon as you put this in a case? You're often up to and over that number in no time.
The whole philosophy I live by with these things is that I need to see them handle forty degrees at full power. That's the lowest realistic number I feel any power supply should be able to handle. People install these into all kinds of different environments. Bob's computer might be next to a heat register, with no other location to put it. Jill's might be next to the window where she can admire the morning sun. A bad power supply rated at thirty degrees is often going to pop on you if you throw it in a case and then ask for full power. A good one with proper protection will shut down, but then you have to figure out how to keep it from going over thirty degrees. It's all a giant pain in the backside when the company selling the unit could have just given us something that could handle a bit of heat instead.
And EVGA does make units like that. I would argue most of their stuff can do more than thirty. I've recommended a lot of those units. What we're going to do today is find out which kind of bargain unit this is. Will it explode, or will it not? Corsair's equivalent units had strict overtemp protection, which made them safe (despite the hysteria you may have seen to the contrary). This one also claims overtemp protection. It may well need it by the time we're done.
What can 80 Plus Bronze do for you? This side of the box is eager to tell us. Bronze efficiency is pretty common, now. Only the real cheap stuff is less efficient these days, so the efficiency alone is hardly a selling point for this unit.
A budget power supply rarely comes with a lot of accessories, and this one is no exception. We have a user guide, a power supply, a power cord, and a bag of screws. The guide is a mite lame, but is more than complete enough for this part of the market and is missing no important details. A lot of the competition doesn't even bother with a manual half this good in this end of the market. If there is a manual at all.
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